You’re planning to hit up Detroit, Michigan, and looking for cool things to do? You’re in luck because we’ve put together a list of favorites and newer spots. And we’re keeping it Hollywood Hippy style, of course.

 

Eastern Market. Photo Zachary Yee.
Eastern Market abounds with whole foods. Photo Zachary Yee.

Eastern Market

If you’re visiting Detroit over a weekend, your first stop must be Eastern Market. Over 150 local farmers, butchers and a variety of unique vendors set up on Saturdays to help keep Detroit nourished. The best part about this market? It’s open year round, so depending on when you visit, you’ll find the best of what’s in season.

 

 

Heidelberg. Photo Zachary Yee.
Heidelberg Project mind-expanding signage. Photo Zachary Yee.

Local art at the Heidelberg Project

This nonprofit outdoor art space was created by Tyree Guyton in 1986 as a way to make the most out of recycled materials and bring important issues literally to the streets of Detroit. The Heidelberg Project is a street lined with colorfully painted homes, art installations and what looks like trash—all meant to represent the blight and beauty that is the ongoing state of Detroit.

 

 

Rust Belt Market. Photo Zachary Yee.
Rust Belt Market. Photo Zachary Yee.

Shopping at The Rust Belt Market

If you’re looking for the perfect Detroit souvenir, look no further than The Rust Belt Market. Local artists and startup companies are housed in this brick-and-mortar location to give you a chance to meet the artists, and help support their new businesses. The Rust Belt Market offers a unique storefront for a variety of artists, as well as a communal hangout space for locals to gather and vibe.

 

 

 

Detroit Soup Dinners

For $5, you can get a bowl of soup, salad, bread and a voting card. What do you vote on? At Detroit Soup events, local entrepreneurs pitch to you their agricultural efforts, new urban developments, educational ideas and more. While you’re enjoying the grub, some of the most passionate individuals of Detroit will convince you to vote for them, in the hopes of making their dreams a reality. At the end of the night, all of the $5 entrance proceeds are awarded to the winning presentation. Detroit Soup has raised over $85,000 for citywide initiatives to date. Check the website for a schedule of monthly Detroit Soup events.

 

 

A night out with Grubbable

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Detroit has been crowned a new food mecca, and the Grubbable app helps you navigate the scene. It will point you in the direction of some of the best restaurants, bars and cafes in Detroit known for creating their menus with natural, locally sourced ingredients.

 

Dequindre Cut. Photo Zachary Yee.
Dequindre Cut Greenway bike path. Photo Zachary Yee.

The Dequindre Cut Greenway

There’s no better way to view some of the most impressive murals, paintings and graffiti art than hopping on a bike and taking a mile ride down the Dequindre Cut Greenway. With entrances near Eastern Market (bike rentals at Wheelhouse Detroit), you can explore this former railway path that loops around the city and onto the Detroit Riverfront area.

 

 

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. Photo Zachary Yee.
Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory greenhouse. Photo Zachary Yee.

Belle Isle

Yes, the Motor City has a beautiful island that overlooks the skyline from the Detroit River. Here, you can visit the oldest Aquarium in the U.S., chill by the lily pond at the Conservatory, reflect on the beauty of the James Scott Memorial Fountain and take in the breathtaking view of downtown Detroit from the beach. Even better, there’s a kayak rental if paddling is your thing. Recommended: Pack some food because there are no food options available on the island.

 

Check out the classic cars at Stahls

There are a lot of ways to learn about the Motor City, but my favorite option (and free) is by far, Stahls Automotive Museum. Stahls lets you get up close with some of the most historical and iconic cars, while hanging out with knowledgeable, friendly tour guides in the city. The best part? Any money you donate to the museum goes directly back to the Detroit community, supporting food banks, special needs foundations and veterans groups.

 

Main photo Doug Zuba. 

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